Final field of 29 for the Irish Grand National
Locally trained Venitien De Mai leads the big race betting, followed by siblings Mala Beach and Bonny Kate
Peter Roe, manager of Fairyhouse Racecourse, with last year’s Boylesports Irish Grand National winner, Thunder and Roses. Photograph: Morgan Treacy/INPHO
Ground conditions no worse than soft are predicated by Fairyhouse officials for Easter Monday’s €275,000 Boylesports Irish Grand National.
Venitien De Mai, trained near the track by Jim Dreaper, tops most ante-post betting lists at 8-1, followed by Mala Beach, and his full sister, Bonny Kate, at 10-1.
A final field of 29 has been declared for one of Irish racing’s most prestigious races, including eight trained by Gordon Elliott and eight owned by Michael O’Leary’s Gigginstown Stud.
The 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising will be marked by a reconstruction of All Sorts’ victory in the 1916 National.
“After the first race on Monday, we will have seven horses paraded, with people in costume. They will gallop for six furlongs and then come back in to the winner’s enclosure,” explained Fairyhouse manager, Peter Roe (left).
“If the forecast of 8-10mm of rain is correct, we’re looking at yielding to soft ground on Sunday. The weather people are flip-flopping on what rain we could get on Sunday night, but it could be 6-8mm. If we get that, it could go soft, but no worse than that,” Roe added.
There are two cross-channel-based hopefuls for Monday’s holiday highlight, Kerry Lee’s Russe Blanc, and the Jonjo O’Neill-trained Another Hero.